Research Assistant

Technology and National Security Program · Washington, District of Columbia
Department Technology and National Security Program
Employment Type Full-Time

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) seeks to hire a Research Assistant to join the Technology and National Security Program. Ideal candidates will have experience in research and policy development at the intersection of technology and national security and an interest in U.S. technological competitiveness and policy. Policy-relevant knowledge in strategic technologies, such as semiconductors/microelectronics, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, information and communications technology and digital infrastructure, or cybersecurity is a plus. Strong administrative and program management skills are required. Please note that this is not an area studies position.


The Technology and National Security Program explores the national security challenges associated with foundational and emerging technologies. Technology is an important enabler of military, economic, and political power. Rapid developments in artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, digital infrastructure, cybersecurity, networking and social media, and disinformation are profoundly altering the national security landscape. A key focus of the program is bringing together the technology and policy communities to better understand these challenges and together develop solutions.




The Research Assistant will be expected to perform a variety of tasks outlined below. The following is an overview of primary responsibilities. Other tasks may be required, and responsibilities will vary over time.




  • Develop and manage project timelines, tasks, and budgets.
  • Liaise with Development team to manage contact lists and support donor engagement.
  • Manage the Technology Program’s communications such as project webpages, email campaigns, and official social media.
  • Develop proposals in conjunction with Center staff.




  • Formulate event themes and manage event logistics including contact and RSVP lists, invitations, speaker coordination and travel, venue arrangements, and event materials.
  • Prepare, schedule, coordinate, and manage internal and external event logistics in coordination with Center staff.
  • Manage additional event-related tasks such as editing transcripts, distributing event video or audio, and follow-up communications.



  • Perform research and analysis of emerging tech policy issues in line with Technology Program projects and in anticipation of new ones.
  • Host roundtables, workshops, and interviews to engage with technology policy stakeholders.
  • Conduct literature reviews and in-depth research.
  • Develop actionable policy recommendations.
  • Communicate research and recommendations through written and verbal forms such as op-eds, public events, and engagement with journalists.



  • Draft project proposals and grant applications in coordination with Center staff.
  • Publish op-eds, journal articles, or short analyses such as blog entries and commentaries, driven by the news cycle.
  • Co-author CNAS papers and reports on a broad array of technology policy topics.
  • Draft interim and final grant reports.
  • Draft project and event descriptions for external-facing materials such as the CNAS website.




  • Edit CNAS papers and reports for substance, style, and layout.
  • Coordinate with outside authors as needed.
  • Manage team publication schedules and deadlines.
  • Collaborate with Center staff to develop compelling graphics, data visualizations, and other methods of content-delivery.
  • Develop strategies to promote Technology Program research among target audiences.




  • Participate in candidate interviews, employee orientation, and other personnel processes.
  • Attend internal meetings and represent CNAS at outside events.
  • Mentor colleagues and future security leaders both formally and informally.
  • Networking, messaging, and outreach.
  • Staff CNAS activities as needed.
  • Occasional travel, domestic and international.




  • Strong organizational skills, uncompromising attention to detail, and initiative.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with others in a fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrated interest in defense and national security issues, particularly applications of emerging technologies.
  • General familiarity with military, Department of Defense, and national security terms and research resources.
  • Strong writing skills, including proper grammar and diligent self-editing and fact checking.
  • Discretion, especially with regards to judging the quality of data and competing information sources.
  • Strong multitasking and time management skills, as well as an ability to juggle multiple projects and competing priorities.
  • Willingness and ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Computer competency, including but not limited to Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and Salesforce.
  • Collegial and ethical professionalism committed to finding solutions and working collaboratively.
  • Legal right to work in the United States.


Highly Preferred


  • Experience researching, analyzing, and writing on national security and defense issues.
  • Experience researching, analyzing, and writing on science and technology topics.
  • Project management experience.
  • Master’s degree in relevant area of study.
  • Two to five years of work experience.


About CNAS

The Center for a New American Security develops bold, innovative, and bipartisan national security and defense policies that promote and protect American interests and values. Building on the deep expertise and broad experience of its staff and advisors, CNAS engages policymakers, experts, and the public with innovative fact-based research, ideas, and analysis to shape and elevate the national security debate. As an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit research organization, CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow. CNAS is located in Washington, D.C.


CNAS is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.


CNAS abides by all Federal and District of Columbia employment laws.

Thank You

Your application was submitted successfully.

  • Location
    Washington, District of Columbia
  • Department
    Technology and National Security Program
  • Employment Type